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Thursday, 10 March 1966

Dr MACKAY (EVANS, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I address a question to the Minister for National Development relating to the Ord River project. Is the Minister aware of a statement made recently by Sir Robert Webster in his Storey Memorial lecture to the Australian Institute of Management that natural fibres may well be faced with overwhelming competition from cheaper and possibly superior synthetic fibres in about a decade? In the light of this statement can the Minister give any assurance as to the future of the Ord "River project which is at present being planned substantially around cotton as the main cash crop? If sugar, for other reasons, is unlikely to be the substantial alternative to cotton, is there some other plan to undergird the enormous cost of this venture? Can the Minister indicate to the House any mineral or other discoveries which have been made as the result of attracting population to Kununurra?

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